The Philippines is finally no stranger for K-Pop acts as MBC Show Champion held their 200th episode in Manila last September 3, 2016 at the SM Mall of Asia Arena. Thousands of fans lined up early to catch Korea’s rising and most popular acts, such as Gugudan, SONAMOO, KNK, AOA, VIXX, BAP, BTS, and M&D (which is composed TRAX’s Kim Jungmo and Super Junior’s Kim Heechul).
It was only an hour before lunchtime and a large number of fans were already crowding around the Mall of Asia Arena. Already adorned in various concert paraphernalia, the fans (who are mostly young teens) were already excitedly waiting for any artists’ van to pass by. There were also other set of fans waiting by the gates to get first dibs on their press conference and sound check perks.
The fans’ excitement brewed as the media and the perk holders were asked to line-up properly. The perk holders were let in first, followed by the media through a different entrance. A long line of chairs were set. Fans were asked to stay mum (even banning taking photos on their personal phones). The press conference was about to begin.
A group of six refreshing young men first entered the press conference area and drew suppressed squeals from the ladies. ASTRO, which is composed of Eunwoo, Rocky, Moon Bin, Sanha, Jin Jin and MJ, greeted the press and fans and answered the questions with warm smiles. The group’s visual, Eunwoo, particularly drew interest as he was asked about posting a photo holding a Jollibee drink prior the press conference. He said he has been to the Philippines before (specifically Tagaytay) and he remembered eating Jollibee. (Rocky also posted a photo in their official Twitter enjoying Jollibee as well.)
KNK followed suit and their heights were no joke. Towering in an average of 180cm, You Jin, Seung Jun, In Seong, Ji Hun, and Hee Jun looked like models in an all-white ensemble. KNK drew excitement from their Filipino Tinkerbells (the group’s official fanclub) as they revealed that they are currently working on their second mini-album. (The group’s maknae, Hee Jun, was so touched at the overwhelming response they received from the Philippines that he even posted a heartwarming message in their group’s Twitter account!)
Having interviewed two boy groups, it was time to switch to one female group: Gugudan. Being the youngest group to be part of the MBC Show Champion in Manila line-up, the nine adorable girls never stopped posing cutely for the cameras. They were honest to say how nervous they were (as it was their first overseas performance), but that didn’t hide how attractive and talented they were in their performances.
Popular comedienne and host, Kim Shin Young, was also present in the press conference. She was so happy to see how K-Pop is well-loved in the Philippines. She admired how Filipinos seem bright and happy all the time. Interestingly, it wasn’t Kim Shin Young’s first time in the Philippines as she went to Cebu for a vacation eight years ago. As MBC Show Champion is a dream stage of many young K-Pop acts, she shared how she also was once a dreamer – she had always wanted to host a music show when she was little.
SONAMOO continues with the girl trend as they were a mix of pretty, sexy and cute. Just like their recent release, “넘나 좋은 것 (I Like U Too Much)”, they hoped that the fans would grew to like their songs very much. (They even taught their signature dance move for 빙그르르 (Round N Round) for the fans to follow later in the concert!)
Super Junior’s Kim Heechul and The TRAX’s Kim Jungmo made quite a grand entrance, displaying their confidence as the most senior performers in that night’s line-up. Heechul, particularly, have been to the Philippines a number of times that he said jokingly there is nothing to miss anymore! Jungmo, who also was no stranger in the Philippines, loves the Philippines and our mangoes.
BAP looked best, absolute, perfect when they greeted the press. When asked what Filipino phrases they’ve learned, Young Jae sheepishly said “Mahal ko kayo”, while Himchan cracked up the media when he kept on saying “Magandang gabi!” (when it was only afternoon!).
The seven ladies of AOA graced the press conference with their beauty and smolders, proving they are the current sexy queens in today’s K-Pop scene. Fans must have welcomed them warmly in the airport as Jimin expressed her gratitude towards their Filipino fans. When asked what places they want to visit in the Philippines, majority of the members answered that they wanted to go to various beaches of the Philippines. Although their sexy concepts have shot them to fame, AOA expressed that they wanted to try more decent and girly concepts next time.
BTS is also a no-stranger performer in the Philippines, as they performed at the same venue only a few weeks ago for their “On Stage: Epilogue in Manila”. BTS seem to be used to a lot of Filipino phrases. J-Hope even amused everyone when he said, “Pak Ganern!”
Last but definitely not the least, VIXX expressed their delight to be back in Manila as they have fulfilled their promise to their Filipino Starlights. Although Leo’s absence (he is still recuperating from an injury) was felt, the group was looking forward to perform songs they have never performed in the country before.
It was only moments away from one of the biggest K-Pop shows in the country, and the venue was already filled with the fans’ boiling excitement. Each time a group’s music video is played on the LED screens, fans couldn’t help but scream, sing and cheer along. When the lights grew dim, Kim Shin Young and Super Junior’s Kim Heechul greeted the audience with vibrant energy.
The cute ladies of Gugudan opened the show with “Wonderland” followed by a more sentimental “일기 (Diary)” from their first mini-album, “Act 1. The Little Mermaid”. KNK displayed their manliness and charisma with “Knock” and “Back Again”.
Since it was the 200th episode, many artists said their greetings through a VCR. Some of the artists were EXO, Hyuna, EXID, B1A4, GFriend, UKISS, Block B, Red Velvet, BTOB and many more.
Fans couldn’t help but gush over at the cuteness ASTRO brought on stage. They drew even louder screams when Eunwoo spoke in English and played the Nanay Tatay Pak Ganern version! They performed “숨가빠 (Breathless)”, “북극성 (Polaris)” and “장화 신은 고양이 (Cat’s Eye)”.
The cute stages continue as SONAMOO graced the stage with “넘나 좋은 것 (I Like U Too Much)” and “빙그르르 (Round N Round)”. The fans definitely picked up their signature dance move as they sang and danced along to the song.
M&D was definitely one of the highlights of the night as Heechul beautifully displayed his vocal chops for the rock single, “뭘봐 (Close Ur Mouth)” and trot ballad, “울산바위 (Ulsanbawi)”. The duo ended on a high note as they playfully performed “로꾸거!!! (Rokkugo)”, originally sung by the trot unit of Super Junior. Heechul, of course, didn’t fail to surprise fans of Super Show 7 soon in Manila.
Summer wasn’t over inside the concert venue as AOA turned up the heat with their string of sexy hits, “Good Luck”, “심쿵해 (Heart Attack)”, and “사뿐사뿐 (Like a Cat)”.
Concept-dols VIXX were the next performers and drew a lot of screams from the crowd with their recent songs, “Fantasy”, “Love Me Do” and “Dynamite”.
Another highlight of the night was the boys of BAP, who got everyone on their feet with “That’s My Jam”. The six boys totally commanded the stage as everyone got to sing with their recent and former hits, “Young Wild and Free”, “No Mercy” and “Bang Bang”.
Having the largest following inside the venue, BTS drew deafening screams from the crowd as they set the stage on fire with “Fire”. There was no stopping in the shrills, shrieks, and screams of Filipino ARMYs as the boys continued with “Save Me” and “Boys with Fun”. Finally, BTS closed the show with “Dope”.
It was a night of feats and memories. It was a feat for the Philippines to host MBC Show Champion’s 200th episode. It was an honor for many artists who were invited to join the episode special line-up. And definitely , it was an unforgettable night for Filipino K-Pop fans as they saw their favorite idols perform on stage.
The episode special will be shown in Korea on September 14, 2016.
KStreetManila would like to thank All Access Productions for the invitation to cover the event.
Go down memory lane with this playlist of songs performed at the MBC Music Show Champion in Manila!
Written by Cheska de Ocampo / Photos by Dana Policarpio